He is mentioned in only one chapter of the Bible. Even then, he is overshadowed by the Christchild.
Luke reports, “Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah” [Luke 2:25-26].
Simeon is described as “righteous and devout.” As such, he knew Scripture. He knew God’s anointed would be David’s descendent [2 Samuel 7], yet even greater than David [Psalm 110]. He knew the Chosen One would born of a virgin [Isaiah 7:14] in Bethlehem [Micah 5:2]. He knew a forerunner would precede God’s Promised One [Isaiah 40] and that the Savior himself would be a prophet like Moses [Deuteronomy 18]. He knew the Messiah would be forsaken and pierced [Psalm 22] and then rise from death [Psalm 16].
Simeon knew all this about his Savior.
Imagine Simeon’s joy as he held Jesus and exclaimed, “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation” [Luke 2:29-30]. His joy was complete. He offered thanks to God that the
age-old promise of a Savior was fulfilled.
Simeon’s thanksgiving to God can also be our model for thanksgiving. He waited his entire life for the fulfillment of the promise of a Savior from sin. We share that same faith—only we don’t wait and wonder when it will happen. It has! God sent his Son to be our Savior so that all believers may have joy and thanksgiving.
At Thanksgiving, we tend to focus on God’s physical blessings. That’s good because God richly blesses us. Yet, we should also include his spiritual blessings in our Thanksgiving because they will last forever.
Like Simeon, may God “dismiss [us] in peace” knowing that his greatest blessing—a Savior—is ours every day by faith.
Have a blessed Thanksgiving!
Jim Grasby is principal of Lakeside Lutheran.
Reach him at 920.648.2321 or firstname.lastname@example.org